Obituary of Franklin Floyd Erwin
In Loving Memory of a Loving Husband, Devoted Father, Master Mechanic, and Stargazer
Franklin Floyd Erwin was born on May 25, 1948, and departed this world on August 26, 2023. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, acceptance, and a deep appreciation for the wonders of the universe.
Franklin lived a life of quiet dedication. He had an extraordinary knack for fixing things - a true mechanical virtuoso. While his formal education ended in high school, Franklin absorbed technical training in the Air Force. With uncommon instincts for troubleshooting, Franklin's hands worked wonders that rivaled those of trained engineers. He was a master mechanic who spent his years servicing fire trucks and ambulances in the emergency services industry. He was accustomed to working on machines that lives depended on, and he did so with great care.
However, what defined Franklin most was his gentle and accepting nature. He lived by the principle of radical acceptance, never passing judgment on others. He embraced those who were meek or damaged in some way, always offering kindness and leaving a lasting impression of feeling seen and loved on those fortunate enough to be in his presence.
Franklin's journey began in Fort Benton, Montana, where he was born to Doris and Patrick Erwin, joining his beloved sister Judy, who was two years his senior. Franklin and Judy shared an unbreakable bond that persisted throughout their lives.
The family later moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, where Franklin and Judy spent their childhood exploring the great outdoors and creating cherished memories with their dad, who had an impressive vegetable garden, and their mom who was known for her warmth and sense of fun. These formative years in Alaska instilled in Franklin a love for adventure that never waned.
When Franklin was twelve, he, his mother, and sister returned to Fort Benton, where he completed his school years and graduated from high school. His high school years were marked by his popularity and great sense of humor. He was also a standout nose tackle on the football team, where earned the nickname "Forearm Frank."
Franklin joined the Air Force in 1967, and was stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base when he met his first wife, Nancy Scott. Franklin and Nancy married in November, 1968. After a year stationed in Thailand, Nancy was able to join Franklin Madrid, Spain, where they embarked on a journey that saw the birth of their children, Andrea and Christopher. Their time in Spain was filled with late-night tapas dinners and the thrill of road racing in their little Fiat.
Fatherhood came naturally to Franklin, and he was a devoted and loving father from the very beginning. After Franklin and Nancy's divorce, he spent a period as a single dad in Boise, working for Breakaway Incorporated outfitting and servicing ambulances. His children, Andrea and Christopher, have fond memories of spending days at his Garden City shop, where they tinkered with tools and equipment under his “guidance”. If the instruction read, “Adult supervision required,” then Franklin probably should not have counted. These days hold many fond memories for Andrea and Christopher.
In 1979, Franklin met his beloved, Stephany, and from their first date, they were inseparable. They were pair-bonded and true companions for the rest of their lives together. Their union brought two bonus children into Franklin's life, Angel and Scott, whom he loved as his own. Together, they created a lifetime of cherished memories.
Franklin and Stephany raised Andrea and Chris, with frequent visits from Scott and Angel, in Boise's north end. In 1987, they relocated to Pendleton, Indiana, where Franklin continued his mechanical work in Emergency Services. Franklin worked tirelessly while his children thrived in their new school. In 1988, Franklin's sister, Judy, and her daughter, Lisa, joined the family in Indiana.
Once all the children had graduated from high school in 1990, Franklin, Stephany, and Judy moved to Judy's homestead in Eastern Oregon, where they enjoyed ranch life. Franklin continued to service fire trucks and ambulances for the Pendleton, Oregon fire department.
In 1995, Franklin and Stephany welcomed their first grandchild, Jesse, and were later blessed with the arrivals of Ellen (1996), Molly (1999), Zac (2005), Marcus (2008), and Zoe (2011). In 2003, the call of grandchildren brought Franklin and Stephany back to Boise.
In 2005, they fulfilled their dream of homeownership by purchasing their cherished cottage on the Boise bench. Franklin continued to work while Stephany provided in-home childcare for family friend Alec, as well as Zac, Marcus, Ellen, and Molly. During this time, they shone as loving grandparents, offering a safe and nurturing environment for their precious grandchildren.
Franklin was not only a mechanical genius but also a lifelong subscriber to Scientific American. His passion for science, particularly astronomy, was a guiding star in his life. Many nights were spent with his son, Christopher, gazing through a telescope at the mysteries of the night sky.
In 2013, shortly after Franklin's retirement, Stephany was diagnosed with a brain tumor and lung cancer. For the next seven years, Franklin became her devoted caregiver, cherishing moments of respite during Stephany's remissions. They enjoyed fishing, birding, puttering around the house, and witnessing events like the memorable eclipse of 2018.
After Stephany's passing in late 2020, Franklin's sister, Judy, joined him in Boise, and the two spent the last two and a half years as inseparable companions. Franklin's illness came swiftly, and he spent his final summer in the care of the VA Medical center, where the staff provided exceptional support.
In addition to his beloved sister, Judy, Franklin’s sisters-in-law, Catherine Scott, Ruth Osterhout and Kay Ball along with brothers-in-law Don Scott and Leo Scott were key people in his life and their love meant the world to him. His ex-wife, Nancy, continued to be a friend until his death. Franklin adored his sons and daughter-in-law, Ted Griggs, Bill Pettitt and Kim Erwin.
Franklin’s life was a testament to love, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to family and the pursuit of knowledge. Franklin will be fondly remembered by all who were fortunate to know him. Franklin is survived by his children Andrea Pettitt, Christopher Erwin and Angel Griggs and he was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Stephany and step-son, Scott.
The family would like to offer a special thanks to the staff of the Boise Veterans Administration Hospital in Boise and particularly to the staff of the CLC and Hospice. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Camp Hodia, a camp for children with diabetes. Franklin spent most of his life as a type 1 diabetic. Donations can be made through www.Hodia.org.
Services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, September 9, graveside at Morris Hill Cemetary followed by burgers at Wyld Child and ice cream at The Stil.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Franklin Erwin, please visit Tribute Store